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Mariano D. Fallorina was born on October 24, 1906 in Villanueva Bautista, Pangasinan, Philippines. Wanting a better life for himself, Mariano purchased a ticket on the S. S. President Taft and embarked for the United States on February 9, 1927. He arrived in San Francisco on March 9 of the same year.

In the early years, Mariano worked as a farm laborer throughout California. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on August 11, 1942. He fought in the Pacific Theater, island-hopping through the Pacific and over to the Philippines. While on leave, he met Angelina Nicolas from Guimba, Nueva Ecija, Philippines through his sister Ana. In February of 1946, he was discharged from the Army, and continued to court Angelina. In January of 1952, Mariano and Angelina were married in the Philippines. Mariano made his way back to the States by ship and arrived in San Francisco on April 30, 1952. Angelina was fortunate enough to avoid the sea voyage; instead she was able to fly on Pan Am Airlines through Hawai‘i. She arrived in San Francisco on August 22, 1952.

After having a son, Mariano Jr. in October 1952, Mariano and Angelina settled in Watsonville. They had another son, Daniel “Dan” in January 1957. In October 1962, Elizabeth Fallorina, joined the family from the Philippines. Mariano and Angelina worked as share-croppers in the strawberry fields on San Andreas Road until 1962. Additionally, Mariano continued to work as a farm laborer harvesting various crops, such as beans and lettuce, for companies including Jensen Apples, Loveless and Sons, and C&V farms. Mariano led work crews and was an irrigator in the lettuce fields. Angelina worked in the canneries for Frozen Foods, Watsonville Canning, and Green Giant.

The family enjoyed going fishing and clamming at Palm and Sunset Beaches just outside of Watsonville. Clamming for Pismo clams was always the hardest work, but was well worth the effort. Mariano would spend hours during the minus tides poking the sand with his pitch fork, digging for the clams. He would be out clamming until he reached his limit of 10 or when the tide would come in! Celebrating weddings or special occasions was always fun. Families came together after a hard week’s work with other Filipino families. Food was abundant and always delicious. Freshly butchered meat, made available by the host family, was always part of the feast! These gatherings were a time to relax, reflect, and tell stories of our relatives and friends back in the Philippines. It was a nice time to enjoy one another’s company.

Mariano and Angelina instilled hard work ethic— being responsible, being respectful, charting one’s own destiny— into their children. They learned through hard work in the fields as well as the value of the dollar and how to stretch it during the lean times. The Fallorina children are grateful to their parents for passing this wisdom on to them. Mariano passed away in May of 1989 at the age of 82. Currently, Angelina is 99 years young and will be turning 100 in December of 2022!!

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